Most patients faced out-of-pocket costs of at least $500 last year, study finds

Patients saw out-of-pocket costs rise in every healthcare setting last year, according to a TransUnion Healthcare study.

TransUnion Healthcare, part of credit and information management company TransUnion, used proprietary data pulled from millions of healthcare estimate values and consolidated by care setting.

Researchers found that patients saw average out-of-pocket costs for inpatient, outpatient and emergency department care increase by up to 14 percent in 2018 compared to the year prior.

The study also showed that 59 percent of patients had an average out-of-pocket expense between $501 and $1,000 last year for a healthcare visit. That's compared to 39 percent of patients in 2017.

"For several years patients have faced a greater cost burden as healthcare expenses shifted from payers to patients," Dave Wojczynski, president of TransUnion Healthcare, said in a news release. "As a result, patients are now making decisions about where they receive care based on costs — not just the quality of care they may receive. This means price transparency is critical for healthcare providers who are not only competing for patients, but also want to secure timely payments from them."


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